Thursday, November 29, 2007

Types of Debates Blog

Political Debate (For a future election)
- we see it on television
-it serves to better understand a candidate's view on a certain issue
-it helps the viewer/voter decide the candidate whose views matched up best with their own
-it is structured
-its structure gives each candidate an equal chance to speak about their views and goals which effect the decision making process for the voter

Teacher/ Student Debate
- it occurs in the classroom
- it serves to either change or not change a grade that the student believes is unfair
- It helps arrive at a better decision as both the student and the teacher's point of views are heard
- it is unstructured
- its disorganization leads to one person, usually the teacher, dominating the debate, and therefore overruling the student in the decision making process.

Class Discussion/Debate
-it occurs in the classroom
-it serves to hear students' point of views on various issues regarding the world
-it can help to arrive at a better decision if the majority of the class has about the same opinion on an issue
- the debate is unstructured
- It makes it sort of a first raise your hand, first speak situation. A few people could dominate by continually stating their opinion while others might not debate at all

Debate Team Competition
-it occurs at a hosting high school
- it serves to hear students' point of views on various issues regarding the world
-it can help originate new ideas to decide from because debators are convincing
-it is structured
- its structure lets every debator have a fair and equal chance at winning the competition.

Debate between friends (For example: deciding which kind of pizza to order)
-it occurs at one of the friends' houses
-it serves to decide what pizza to order on the phone
-it helps arrive at a better decision because there is eventually a compromise, so both are happy
-it is unstructured
-One friend could persuade the other to get the kind of pizza he/she wanted in exchange for something else without the other even giving his/her opinion

Parent/ Child Debate (For example: the issue of extending a curfew)
-it occurs at home
-it serves to either change a curfew or keep it the same
-it only helps arrive at a better decision if there is a compromise made
-it is unstructured
-it could lead to an extreme argument and eventually to slamming doors, and then no decision would really have been made.

Teacher/ Teacher Debate (For example: what units/skills are most important for students to learn)
- it occurs in the teachers' lounge
- it serves to decide what to teach each year
- it helps arrive at a decision that everyone can agree with
-it is unstructured
- as in other situtations, one teacher could dominate the discussion, basically deciding that year's plan, while others do not get a change to say anything

"Last Word" Debate
- it occurs in the classroom
-it serves to hear students' point of views on various issues regarding the world and it helps students better understand their peers' views
-it could help arrive at a better decision if everyone agrees
-it is structured
- everyone has an equal change to state their opinion and have their voice count in the decision making process

Court Case (For example: a trial by jury)
-it occurs in the courtroom
-it serves to prove someone guilty or not
-it doesn't really help arrive at a better decision because the truth is not always factored in, or even known for that matter
-it is structured
- everyone has an equal change to state their opinion and have their voice count in the decision making process by the jury. Also, all the jury have one vote that each have the same value

Business Meeting Debate (For example: which slogan should we use for our new product)
- it occurs in a conference room
- it serves to decide which slogan should be used
-it helps arrive at a better decision because with a resulting compromise, everyone will be happy
-it is unstructured
- one businessman, usually the manager, can overrule their coworkers opinion because they have the authority in making the decision.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Outside Reading- Week 4- Post B

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Section 4: Pages 179- 228

Reaction: In chapter ten, one Sunday morning after his 7 a.m. radio show, Anger Management, on the community radio station WRUS, Owen invited Annabel out to breakfast. She agreed to go, and about twenty minutes later, Owen showed up at her front door. After some good music discussion in the car, they arrive at the World of Waffles. Realizing it was a bit chilly in the restaurant, Owen offered Annabel his coat. They enjoyed a nice, hearty breakfast together, and soon, Owen dropped Annabel back to her house. Right after he drove off, Annabel realized she was still wearing Owen’s coat, but most importantly that his ipod was in the coat’s pocket. In pages 202-203, although she knew she shouldn’t, her curiosity led to temptations that caused her to turn on the beloved ipod. In life, many people’s curiosity leads them to act in a way they feel is wrong; it is human nature. For instance, once when I was younger, I had a friend who kept a journal in which she wrote down all of her “secrets”. When I was at her house one day, I saw this “sacred” journal sitting keyless smack down in the middle of her wooden dresser as if it was on display. We ordered pizza and talked for a little while, and soon enough, she left the room to go pay the delivery boy and get our food. So, there I sit, just me and that journal. Normally, I would refrain from doing such a thing, but after hearing all the hype about that journal, my curiosity got the best of me, and within seconds, I was diving into the journal. I think many people are tempted to do things they shouldn’t because it adds excitement to their lives as it did with me that one day.

Outside Reading- Week 4- Post A

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Section 4: Pages 179- 228

2 Vocabulary Words

1. abhorrent (p.182)- adj.
causing repugnance; detestable; loathsome
utterly opposed, or contrary, or in conflict
Example from the book: “It’s so abhorrent that anyone could consider themselves an artist and then sell out so completely to the corporate machine”
My Example: As I care about the environment, I find the pollution surrounding big cities abhorrent.

2. Pensive (p.226)- adj.
Deeply, often wistfully or dreamily thoughtful.
Example from the book: “There were a few more [pictures] of Mallory as well, doing a full range of looks: pensive, dreamy, and, perhaps due to something Owen had just said, annoyed.”
My example: Philosophers are usually in a pensive mood while they think up new ideas to explain the world.

1 Quote and its significance

“Even though our rooms were adjacent, her view of the golf course, where a man in checked pants was now taking a practice swing, looked totally different to me, like it might have been another place altogether” (201).
This quote is significant to the story as it symbolizes the difference between the lives and views of the two sisters by comparing them with the very different views of both of their rooms’ windows. Although they were both raised in the same house by the same parents within the same environment, they act and understand the world completely differently. While Whitney is quieter and to herself, exhibited by writing in her journal, Annabel is more social, displays by her circle of good friends. This quote explains how their different personalities erupted so that they could become who they are today.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Outside Reading- Week 3- Post B

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Section 3: Pages 115- 178

Reaction: As Annabel gets to know Owen better, she learns more about his family life. Just as many children and teenagers have to face, in pages 159-160 we learn that Owen had to live through his parent’s brutal divorce. He describes angrily to Annabel how there was constant screaming and incessant hatred between his parents. On one hand, I feel so sorry that Owen had to endure this. I don’t think I personally could ever deal with such a situation although like most married couples, my parents often bicker. On the other hand, my personal opinion of divorce, although I understand they are messy, is that they are necessary. If I was in a marriage and was extremely unhappy and unsatisfied, I too would seek a better husband, a better life. From the parent’s point of view, divorce is evidently a good thing in the end. They no longer have to live their life with regret and major unhappiness. I also feel it is advantageous to their children because they will not have to consistently survive their parent’s arguments. However, this is not how most children view the situation. Many feel like they are to blame, or they feel worthless. I believe this is due to the fact that they had to come to the realization that their parents, who most view as heroes or idols, cannot always make the right decision. In this world, nothing and nobody is perfect. That’s what I love about it- it is our flaws that make us unique and interesting.

Outsside Reading- Week 3- Post A

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Section 3: Pages 115- 178


Indecipherable ( p.128)- adj.
not understandable; incomprehensible.
Example from the book: “-the song was still going, the words the singer was saying (or screeching, really) indecipherable.
My example: Because it is not from their generation, the computer, to my parents, is absolutely indecipherable.

Semantic (p. 150)- adj.
of, pertaining to, or arising from the different meanings of words or other symbols
Example from the book: “[The definition of freaking out] is just a semantic issue, I guess.”
My example: America is viewed semantically by different countries; some view it as a place of freedom while others see it more as a place of greed.

3 examples of figurative language

Foreshadowing: “I thought of something else, the thing I could never admit, the biggest secret of all. The one I could never tell, because if the tiniest bit of light was shed upon it, I’d never be able to shut it away again” (143). I know that this is the literary element foreshadowing as it indicates that further on in the story, this secret will finally by let out and the truth will unfold. Judging by the way the author stated this, it seems as though Annabel is very reluctant for this to happen.

Metaphor: “Silence is so freaking loud” (147). I know this is the literary element metaphor because it directly relates and compares two unlike sounds. Silence is obviously not loud to most, yet metaphorically it could be perceived as so because it too is technically a sound.

Imagery: “The house was beautiful, with a wide front porch with a swing, and bright pink flowers in pots lining the steps. A yellow cat was lying on the front walk, stretched out in the sunshine” (150). I know this is the literary element imagery as it thoroughly describes Owen’s nice house using visual words such as “stretched” and “bright pink”. In my head, I can actually picture his house as if I was Annabel, observing it from my car window.

Outside Reading- Week 2- Post B

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Section 2: pages 64- 114

Reaction: Honesty is always the answer. But somehow, it is rarely the response. In pages 109-110 as Owen, a giant who has the reputation as a tough guy, drives Annabel home from school after she had had a rough day, Annabel realizes that he is not as scary as he is made out to be. Actually, she finds him fascinating. Even more so when he claims that he never lies, as she herself cannot help but to lie. So many people in the world continually lie. It is probably our worst habit. Although everyone knows it is not right, it is inevitable. It seems to be the easy way out at the moment, but in the long scheme of events, it becomes complicated; instead of its immediate effect of relaxing a person, lying will always end up hurting people more than helping them. I, myself, try my hardest to remain a completely honest person, and most of the time, I am. But sometimes, I just can’t bear to tell the truth, especially about my feelings. I sometimes force myself to be happy and cheery when in reality, I feel just the opposite. Although it may help me in situations where being sad or tired makes me out to be a party pooper, at the end of the day, I will still be sad or tired, but also angry because I would not let myself purge my true emotions. This realization makes me wonder that if the world could commit to being honest to others and themselves, how much easier our lives could be lived.

Outside Reading- Week 2- Post A

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Section 2: pages 64- 114


Stoic (p. 72)- n.
One who is seemingly indifferent to or unaffected by joy, grief, pleasure, or pain.
Example from the book: “Clarke wasn’t an emotional person. She was instead a born stoic.”
Other example (from me): As his sister cried and cried, he was stood there, a complete stoic, unaffected.

(p.96)- adj
characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect
characterized by or dealing with coarse or base emotions; earthy; crude
Example from the book: “music is a total constant. That’s why we have such a strong visceral connection to it”
Other example (from me): I was visceral in figuring out that I needed to move back.

One emerging theme
One emerging theme in Just Listen is the honesty as it displays itself as a quality that many characters try hard to possess, yet somehow they are not capable of doing so leading them to continue to lie to everyone, especially themselves.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Outside Reading- Week 1- Post B

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Section 1: Pages 1-63

Reaction- The ability, or disability, to cope with death really fascinates me. In pages 30-34, a horrible event strikes the Greene family: Annabel’s maternal grandmother dies. Before her death, although they lived on opposite coasts of the United States, Annabel’s mother, Grace, and her mother were extremely close. Every morning, they would talk on the phone about things that didn’t seem important, but in essence they meant everything to Grace. Upon the death of her mother, Grace began to look more tired and less perky as usual. Gradually, she got worse; some days, she would not even get out of bed. This sort of response to death occurs a lot in the world today; especially if it is the parent who dies. Many people go into extreme depression, becoming a completely different person than they had previously been- a sadder person. Many do not sleep and try to occupy their minds with structured activities, while others, like Grace, sleep all day. Both help the “victim” attempt to forget about the past. But this is, in my opinion, unhealthy. One must face the fact that their parent is gone straight on in order to cope with the death and eventually move on with their lives, as difficult as it may be. To relate to my own life, both my paternal grandparents died in the same year when I was in 7th grade. Although my father seemed fine and unmoved, you could see the sadness in his eyes and the slight croaking in his voice. My mom told me he did not sleep for days. Every time I saw him, he had a crossword puzzle in his lap and a cup of coffee in his hand. He did not cope well with the death of his parents very quickly until he finally faced the facts and stopped trying to be in denial of their absence. In the book, too, Grace eventually begins to go to therapy and gradually, her life goes back to normal.

Outside Reading- Week 1- Post A

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Section 1: Pages 1-63


Encroaching (p. 5)- to encroach: intr. v.
1. To take another's possessions or rights gradually or stealthily.
2. To advance beyond proper or former limits.
Example from the book: Any space around her was her personal space; just by existing, you were encroaching.
My example: At night, they liked to encroach on neighbors’ land for fun.

Indignant (p. 46)- adj.
Feeling, characterized by, or expressing strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting, or base.
Example from the book: I could hear my father’s low tones, my mom’s higher ones, and the occasional indignant shift in tone from Kirsten.
My example: I kept an indignant expression on my face as my friend was credited for the work I did.


“As different as my family was that night it all began from what we appeared to be- the five of us, a happy family, sharing a meal in our glass house- to anyone in a car passing by on the road outside, looking in" (63).
As normal as any family, such as the Greenes, may look and seem, there are always thick pages beyond the cover. In this particular chapter, the family had gone through the crisis of a daughter, or a sister, being taken over by her eating disorder. As serious as the situation must have been, the Greenes tried to remain calm and collected; some even in denial of the terrible thing happening before their eyes: Whitney was disappearing to death. The family often exchanged glances of fear and of sorrow, but rarely got into audible heated debate. From the outside looking in, they seemed to be a perfect family eating dinner. This really goes to show the saying that you cannot judge a book by its cover.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Approval of 2nd Quarter Outside Reading

I would like to read Just Listen by Sarah Dessen.
It was published in 2006 by Penguin Group.
This book is a work of fiction.
It is 371 pages long.
This book is sufficiently challenging for a sophomore as it deals with self-actualization, a complex subject. Also, within the first few pages, vocabulary words include encompass, verdict, and encroaching. On top of that, it was referred to me by my older cousin, who read it as a senior in high school. I chose this book mainly because I heard it was a good read through both reviews and personal reviews. Also, the plot sounds interesting- a lot like the novel Speak, a book I read last year that I really liked. At last, I’ve read other books by Sarah Dessen that I enjoyed, so I believe I will enjoy this one.